Match Report: West Ham 1 Newcastle 3
After a vital three points at Cardiff City last week, West Ham were brought back to earth losing 3-1 at the hands of Newcastle United, with a Yohan Cabaye brace helping the Magpies to victory.
It was Newcastle's first victory over West Ham in five games, and they had not scored in their last four against the Hammers until this match.
With this home defeat on the fourth anniversary of the club's current board taking over, Big Sam's men are well and truly back in a relegation dogfight and need to buy soon in this month's transfer window.
The opening five minutes saw West Ham start much brighter, with most of the play in the Newcastle half and Mark Noble being at the centre of everything. There were early claims for a penalty for a foul on Mohammed Diame from Steven Taylor but referee Andre Marriner waved play on.
The first real chance of the game came after eight minutes when Mohammed Sissoko's chipped ball over the Hammers backline found Loic Remy, who cut inside Matt Taylor, but dragged his shot wide.
Newcastle's Remy was looking extremely dangerous when on the ball, as he tested Adrian with an effort from 25 yards out, but the ball went straight into the hands of the Spaniard.
At the other end, Matt Jarvis's cross to the near past found Matt Taylor, but he guided his header wide of Tim Krul's post.
Immediately afterwards, Newcastle countered, with a quick passing move. The ball was at the feet of Yoan Gouffran, who squared to Cabaye and he calmly placed his shot into the corner of the net and claim Newcastle's first league goal of the calendar year in the 16th minute.
Alan Pardew's men almost doubled their lead when linchpin Cabaye slid in Sissoko, but Adrian stood tall and prevented the ball from creeping over the line.
Cabaye was too clever for West Ham, and nearly bagged his second, giving Noble the shoulder but his curling shot narrowly went past the post.
Newcastle deservedly doubled their lead later 33 minutes with the build-up containing at least 20 passes. The result saw Sissoko's cross find Loic Remy who had time to control the ball on his chest and squeeze the ball past Adrian.
Cabaye was at the centre of yet another chance after 36 minutes. His shot had Adrian scrambling but he saved well. With the home crowd getting restless, West Ham needed to pick up their performance. Mo Diame's cross was just out of the reach of Carlton Cole and the score remained 2-0.
Despite a poor 45 minutes, on the stroke of half time, the Hammers pulled a goal back and there was still hope, as Razvan Rat's first time ball into the danger zone found Carlton Cole who bundled it past Tim Krul to claim his fifth goal of the season on the back of signing a new 18 month contract.
The second half started in blistering fashion for the away side. Cabaye's through ball towards Remy found him one on one with Adrian, but the Spaniard pulled off a magnificent save to keep the East London outfit in the game.
On the 55th minute, Carlton Cole had a fantastic opportunity to level the game.
Matt Taylor's exquisite low cross found the former England international in acres of space, but he failed to convert a simple chance.
Just after the hour mark was the moment all Hammers fans had been waiting to see back at the Boleyn.
Andy Carroll was introduced replacing Mo Diame. In his programme notes, Sam Allardyce said that on his day, Carroll is the best striker in the country.
And he was instantly involved as he was inches away from getting on the end of Stewart Downing's floated ball, as the Hammers upped the ante. Meanwhile, Newcastle sub Shola Ameobi's rifled left footed shot bounced awkwardly for Adrian but the keeper dealt with it comfortably.
After 15 minutes of litte action, there was another great chance for West Ham to grab an equaliser. Downing's driven cross found Carroll at the back post, but his rustiness was shown when he blazed the shot into row z.
Hatem Ben Arfa's long piledriver from 25 yards out had Adrian scrambling, as the visitors did all they can to hang onto a valuable three points and sustain the pressure on a West Ham side needing points to stave off relegation.
On the 90th minute, James Collins's spectacular volley from the edge of the area went wide of the left hand post; as the Hammers mounted more attacks in a bid to find a way to level the game.
However, those hopes were all over, as man of the match, Cabaye's right footed curling free kick went in off the post to seal all three points for Newcastle United and claim their first victory of the 2014.